Summary: When something devastating happens to one of the team, justice may not be enough to keep the them together...
Rated:M for violence.
Disclaimer: I don't own NCIS. I don't own the characters. And since I get to borrow theirs, they can take any originals I throw in here, and I won't complain...
11 00 11 00 11
Gibbs swept sawdust and wood chips from the basement's concrete floor, into a dustpan, as he hummed a tune he was only familiar with because his senior agent had been singing it at the crime scene the previous week. He wasn't even sure what the song was, except that it was something older; something Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra...something like that. All he knew, was that he hadn't been able to get it out of his head in five days.
Tony had taken mandatory vacation time, ordered by Director Vance. Contrary to how he'd usually have argued, Tony had accepted it with excitement. He knew exactly what he was going to do. In fact, he'd told Gibbs all about it as they rode down in the elevator to the parking garage that night after work.
"I've had this account set up for a while, Boss," he'd told him. "There's this beautiful hotel in Vegas. I know that sounds like something my father would do, but I'm not going there to gamble," he defended. "It's just this great place... Beautiful women, great service, and a few old frat buddies are gonna meet me there, that I haven't seen in years! Or well...that's the plan, anyway. I've been saving up for a while now. My friends don't live too far away, and they love Vegas..."
He'd rambled on and on; most, Gibbs had tuned out for.
That was Friday. The stupid song popped into his head on Saturday morning at about 3a.m, out of no where, as Gibbs was carving out of a block of wood on the workbench. It hadn't left, since.
Tony was due to fly back in to D.C tonight. McGee had agreed, before they'd parted ways in the garage that Friday, to pick him up at the airport. In fact, he'd been due to arrive back in about an hour ago, Gibbs realized as he glanced at his watch. Coincidentally, his cell decided to ring, right in that moment.
"Yeah. Gibbs," he answered.
"Boss, it's McGee," the voice sounded on the other line. "Tony's flight was 702, right? In directly from Las Vegas?"
"That's what I remember."
"I've been here a while. Thought maybe there was a delay, but I checked with the front desk, and the flight was on time; landed an hour ago. You haven't heard from him, have you?"
"Not since Friday," his gut began to churn.
"I'm having his name looked up in the check-in...uh, hang on, Boss..." his voice faded a bit, and Gibbs could hear a woman's voice speaking to him, but not clear enough to know what she was saying. "Could he have missed it? Is there any other flights coming out of there?" Gibbs listened, intently, to McGee's questions to the woman. His eyes drifted toward the small window, high up on the wall, as light played through it, indicating possible headlights coming up the street. "He hasn't transferred the ticket?...Well, can you at least confirm that he flew out of here Friday evening?" Gibbs heard the vehicle's brakes squeak to a halt in front of his house. Maybe it was Tony... "Uh Boss?"
"Tony never used his ticket..."
"What the hell are you talkin' about?"
"Tony never flew to Vegas, Boss. He never rescheduled. As far as they can tell, he never left D.C."
Gibbs heard two doors slam, and the vehicle outside was suddenly screeching away, making a U-turn, and speeding off. Gibbs' heart sped up with sudden adrenaline, and he took off up the stairs; the phone still clutched in his hand, but not at his ear, as he maneuvered his way out the front door.
When his eyes met the front lawn, the vehicle was long gone. What it had left behind, however, was a body... The only identifiable marking, was the clothing. He was wearing the same clothes Gibbs had seen him in on Friday...